© 2024
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Camp Boyhaven Sale Collapses


A local scouting organization has pulled out of a deal to sell a former Cub Scout camp to the Saratoga County Town of Milton.

Camp Boyhaven in the Town of Milton will remain on the market.

Twin Rivers Council, the scouting organization that owns the now-closed camp, had been working with the town to sell the property for $1 million. Half of the purchase would come from the town, the other half from an anonymous donor.

But things changed this week at Wednesday’s Milton town board meeting, when town planning board chair Larry Woolbright announced that the donor backed out of the purchase, reportedly after attempts to reveal their identity.

This didn’t sit well with Twin Rivers Council’s board of directors. With the donor pulling out and without a closing date, Twin Rivers Council Executive Director Mark Switzer said the board has decided to pursue new avenues.

“They did elect to break away from the contract in the conversation with the town and go forward with looking at previous bids and other options,” said Switzer.

The town’s proposal to purchase the camp and use it as a passive recreation park was attractive to the council. Switzer said keeping open space on the property remains a priority. 

“There’s nothing concrete and no contracts in front of us. But we are beginning discussions,” said Switzer. “One of the discussions is how do we understand and maintain that relationship with the town and understand the need for green space there so future options can include cutting out, carving out, and maintaining some green space as part of future deals. So that is extremely important to this board of directors and to the Boy Scouts.”

The council had hoped to use proceeds from the sale to bolster its camping program. Twin Rivers operates Camp Wakpominee in Fort Ann and Rotary Scout Reservation in Poestenkill. 

The Milton town board had left Wednesday night’s meeting and discussion on Camp Boyhaven open. Now, town supervisor Scott Ostrander says he plans to close that meeting on May 1st.

Ostrander said Friday he had not spoken with Twin Rivers about the deal’s collapse. He said the town has received notice of the anonymous donor’s withdrawal.

“I can tell you that I’ve spoke to our attorney earlier and he had not heard but he did say he did get some correspondence from their attorney’s office within the last half hour indicating that his interest was to pull out, yes,” said Ostrander.

The town began discussions to purchase the camp property a year ago. Ostrander, who began his tenure in January, said up until this point the board had been in support of the deal.

But Ostrander doesn’t want the town financing the entire $1 million purchase.

“Our whole board up to this point in reference to voting on this all voted yes,” said Ostrander. “Although one of our members at the last meeting brought up the fact that if the donor was indeed going to pull out, that she felt that the town should finance the whole million dollars, which I am totally against because our funds are not good and we do not have an additional $500,000.”

A local resident named Frank Rossi Jr., whose family owns several apartments in the area, launched an online fundraiser seeking $750,000 to keep alive the town’s bid to purchase the camp.

Town planning board chair Larry Woolbright was not available Friday afternoon for comment.

Lucas Willard is a news reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011. He produces and hosts The Best of Our Knowledge and WAMC Listening Party.
Related Content